- Designer: Zachary Connelly
- Artist: Claire Donaldson
- Publisher: Royal N. Games
- Players: 1-4
- Play Time: 20-30 minutes
- Times Played: 5
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Lots A Competitive Tower Building Game from the publisher in order to preview this upcoming title.
“If you put that block there, I don’t think it’s going to stand, you are taking away the structural integrity of our building.
Seriously, I told you so.”
In the past few months, I’ve been backing away from Kickstarter and its myriad of games that are coming. Reasons too numerous to mention have kind of forced me to take a second look at what I am backing, and what I was telling others they should think about backing as well. Plus, I think I was backing games for all the wrong reasons, instead of looking for games I knew would get played and we would enjoy, I chose to help friends along the way and thus, my unplayed pile of Kickstarter games grew, and grew, and grew. So, it has probably been close to a year since I have previewed a Kickstarter title, and what catches my attention? Lots A Competitive Tower Building Game.
My family loves stacking games, anything with a semblance of dexterity to it, will always get to the table. Add on top of it, that it’s a competitive stacking games, instead of cooperative, and it has an even better chance of hitting the table. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to take a look at, and preview Lots from designer Zachary Connelly and hopefully being published, via Kickstarter through his publishing house, Royal N Games.
Lots is exactly what its title says, it’s a competitive game in which the players are building a tower in the attempt of scoring the most points. The main component of Lots is going to be the blocks that you use to build the tower with. In the game there are five different shaped blocks in five different colors, with six of each color and shape. There is also a die in the game, the die is your guide during your turn. The central board consists of a construction area in the center where you will place one of the three building cards, with the chosen difficulty face up. These building cards will provide you with the space to build, you may not build outside of the base card design. Also around that central board is a score track with points marked where you will place the small purple blocks that can be earned throughout the game. Everyone at the start of the game is going to roll the die and take the corresponding piece into their hand. From here on out, you will always have one block at the start and end of your turn.
A player’s turn begins with the rolling of the die, the player will then take the block shown on the die and add it to their hand, at this point the player has to play one of their two blocks to the tower. The goal of adding blocks to the tower is to score points, and maybe deny a couple points to your fellow builders. You will score two points for every block touching the block you just playce that matches the color. You can also score five points for completing a floor. Move your score piece up the score track the number of points scored, if you are the last person to cross a purple block on the scoreboard, take that block into your hand to use on a future turn. Also, if you are the last to pass a crew card marker, take another crew card from the draw pile. Crew cards are there to help you score points, use them at the time you believe they will best benefit you.
Play continues this way, with a player rolling the die, placing a block, and then passing to the next player. The game will end as soon as someone crosses a certain point threshold, based on the number of players in the game.
Another bonus for folks is that there is also a solo mode for Lots, as of this time, I have not played it yet.
Lots is a fun, lightweight competitive stacking game. Nothing too over complex and nothing too tricky about it. You are trying to place blocks on a tower in order to score the most points. It works and it works well. There is a bit of a stacking/dexterity element to the game, should your pieces, or other pieces fall, you simply discard them out of the game and place your piece on the tower, gaining no points. So there is some skill involved in the stacking and careful placement but ultimately, you can play it as seriously, or not as seriously as you want to.
The catch up mechanisms of gaining a crew card or a purple block are huge, and they are helpful as anything in the game, but don’t slowplay just to gain those, they aren’t guaranteed to bring you back from the depths to win, but they certainly can help you get back into the running.
Being a review/prototype copy, I hesitate to say anything about the components, but for being a review/prototype it all worked surprisingly well with those fun little wooden blocks. Sure, I’d love to see the blocks more like the blocks in Tuki, but they don’t need to be, these wooden blocks work perfectly and fit the theme well. Our game board bowed up in the middle, but Zach has assured me that was simply a matter of a review/prototype board and the finished product will not do that.
As a family, we’ve had a lot of fun with Lots. It has provided some laughs and good times for everyone, from the youngest to the oldest, and it’s lighthearted nature can lead to some fun family moments around the gaming table, which is why I started playing board games in the first place, bringing our family closer together.